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Yes, a coroner has the power, and in certain circumstances is obliged, to adjourn an inquest indefinitely. These are cases where any criminal proceedings arising out of the death are pending or envisaged and cases where a public inquiry is to be held
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into the events surrounding the death. The coroner has discretion to resume the inquest on conclusion of the criminal proceedings or public inquiry. Cases involving a member of the visiting forces must also be adjourned and can only be resumed on the direction of the Secretary of State.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there is a limit on the amounts of money that can be spent by coroners' offices on legal fees in opposing the re-opening of an inquest; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: The costs of such proceedings shall be met by the coroner's local authority, subject to those costs being reasonable and also that the authority agrees to indemnify the coroner in advance. The coroner may appeal to the Secretary of State against any decision made by the authority in these circumstances. There is no legal limit as to the costs of the proceedings.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what he expects the (a) role and (b) function of the National Offender Management Service to be by April 2007; and what percentage of those functions will be run by the statutory services of the National Offender Management Service. 
Paul Goggins: By April 2007, budget allocations for offender management on probation areas and prisons will be agreed by Regional Offender Managers (ROMs), the common offender database (NOMIS) will be on line and the Criminal Justice Act 2003, including custody plus provisions, will have been implemented. ROMs will continue to oversee and influence the work of offender managers and, with the National Offender Manager, to develop the commissioning and contestability of services for offenders.
As announced on 20 July 2004, offender managers will remain employed by Probation Boards at this stage. As the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) develops, the end state will involve changes to the role of Boards and to the management relations between ROMs and offender managers. Detailed feasibility work and consultation will be undertaken before final decisions are made.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether comments are being sought on the Vision Statement for the National Offender Management Service from stakeholders. 
Paul Goggins: Yes. The Vision and Blueprint for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), dated 24 January, was circulated to trade unions via the NOMS Joint Consultative Council and to probation and prison staff on 1 February through their respective internal communications networks. The documents are a record of the agreed view of the NOMS board. Staff were invited to comment and offer views via e-mail.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any members of the National Offender Management Service Performance Board have resigned during the last three months. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he will ensure that probation boards continue to maintain probation accountability to local communities under the National Offender Management Service structure. 
Paul Goggins: The final structure of the National Offender Management Service is still the subject of detailed planning and consultation. Links with local communities is a key consideration. The Management of Offenders and Sentencing Bill, which is currently before Parliament, does not alter the principle upon which Boards currently operate.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he received from (a) individuals and (b) organisations in favour of dividing the Probation Service into Offender Management and Interventions, during the 2004 consultation process. 
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what role partnership between the probation service and the voluntary sector will have under the National Offender Management Service structure. 
Paul Goggins: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) offers opportunities to expand voluntary sector work with offenders and develop new areas for partnership and voluntary sector involvement. Funding has been secured from the Home Office Change Up Public Sector Programme to provide training, advice and support to help the voluntary sector respond to partnership opportunities as well as prepare for contestability. A draft strategy entitled The role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in the National Offender Management Service" was published on 31 January 2005, and has been sent to probation areas and voluntary and community groups for consultation.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how career training and professional development of staff will be conducted under the National Offender Management Service structure. 
Paul Goggins: Planning has begun on the creation of a learning and development strategy for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). Working closely with Skills for Justice (the Sector Skills Council for the justice sector) and regional probation training consortia, this strategy will identify new learning programmes and qualifications needed to support the development of NOMS.
As the offender management model is now being developed, a particular priority is to define the occupational standards and competencies needed to undertake this critical new role, and hence to develop supporting learning programmes.
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The Prison Service and National Probation Service are also developing proposals for an integrated approach to leadership and management development for managers across NOMS. An early output has been the creation of an induction and development programme for the 10 Regional Offender Managers.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the planned budget is for (a) the National Offender Management Service, (b) the National Probation Service local area boards, (c) the Probation Headquarters and (d) private sector prisons for each of the next three years. 
Of the other 3325 million a further £173 million goes to boards and the remaining amount is centrally managed including headquarters costs and a significant amount for electronic monitoring (£79 million). The budget for Probation Headquarters will be subject to revision following the current structural review.
Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a request has been made to the Netherlands Government for the extradition of Pieter Minnaid; and what steps his Department have taken to secure his return to prison in the UK. 
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